The York Majors All-Star team fell to the Pageland All-Stars in the second game of the best-of-three series in the district playoffs last week.
Pageland won 3-1 in the first game of the series at York’s Optimist Park. The score of the second game wasn’t available. The York Parks and Recreation Department team is made up of Ducks team members with several Farm Bureau players.
The visiting Pageland stars plated two runs in the top of the third inning to grab the early lead as York hurler Troy Baucom held the Pageland batters in check for the most part.
The York team had a potential scoring threat in the bottom of the third, but the Pageland center-fielder’s leaping shoestring catch of a well hit ball by Tyler Nivens put the skids on York’s scoring threat.
Following the game-changing catch, Matt Moss was hit by a pitch and Cody Ledford singled, leaving runners at first and second with two outs.
But it was not to be, as Pageland held its 2-0 lead.
The York team pushed across a run in the bottom of the fifth. Jeremy Taylor got things started when he was hit by a pitch to open inning No. 5.
Hunter Horne beat out an infield hit and York was in position to break the game open.
After Nivens was retired, Moss was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for the York Majors team.
Moments later, Hunter Gibby delivered what appeared to be a solid two-run single, scoring Taylor and Horne in the process.
It was at this stage that the plate umpire met with the base umpire for an extended discussion, after which it was ruled that the tag was made on Horne at the plate.
Despite the call, the York stars had a productive inning and Pageland was clinging to a 2-1 lead.
Pageland answered in the top of the sixth, with a long home run that pushed the visitors ahead 3-1.
After being retired in order in the bottom of the sixth inning, York had new life in the seventh when Moss reached on an infield hit with two outs.
But the threat fell short as Pageland held on for the narrow win with strong pitching down the stretch.
Though disappointed with the loss to the visitors from Pageland, York Majors head coach Chad Ledford lauded the players for laying it on the line before the home crowd in the opening playoff game.
“It was a good game,” Ledford said. “We played good defense.”
While noting that the team had trouble hitting the ball against Pageland’s ace hurler, Ledford said he had nothing negative to say about the York team.
“They gave it their best,” he said. “They have great attitudes. None of the players got down.”
While the Pageland pitching was dominant in the playoff win, Ledford said the York players had success against the Pageland team in the regular season.
“We know our players can compete with Pageland,” he said. “We were 2-2 against them in the regular season.”
Last week’s win sends the Pageland All-Stars to the next round of the playoffs as district champions.